Created by CREW

CREW: SEC: Regarding Destroyed Investigation Files

On September 16, 2011, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) seeking records explaining or describing the SEC’s reasons for not proceeding with closed preliminary investigations, including Matters Under Inquiry (MUI), related to Bernie Madoff, Goldman Sachs’ trading in AIG credit default swaps, financial fraud at Wells Fargo and Bank of America, and insider trading at Deutsche Bank, Lehman Brothers, and SAC Capital. CREW seeks the records in the wake of recent news reports revealing that since 1993, the SEC has destroyed thousands of closed MUI files in violation of its legal obligation to retain these records. In a letter the SEC’s Enforcement Division director sent this week to Senator Charles Grassley, the SEC acknowledged it is likely at least some documents related to the closed matters CREW asked about were destroyed, but asserted current and future investigations have not been harmed. The records CREW seeks would shed light on the truth of these statements, as well as the SEC’s record keeping procedures regarding earlier inquiries and investigations that are critical to the SEC’s ability to detect wrongdoing and enforce laws protecting the public. The SEC’s letter is attached to CREW’s request.